Happy Summer everyone!
I have been busy putting together a couple of workshops, one on healthy knees and the other one on helping us heal our anxiety. The one that is 'tugging' at me is the one on anxiety. As a Yoga Lifestyle Coach I am often surprised at just how many people suffer, or live with, some level of anxiety. We worry about everything, and I started to wonder....why? After a couple of months of researching and thinking about life, I have come to a couple of conclusions. Two things, the global communication has become so pervasive that nothing happens that we don't know about immediately and our bodies have not had the time to evolve to keep up with the speed of change in our world. My thought processes are below......
First.....Everyday, without fail, I hear about the consequences of global warming, wild fires, earthquakes, tainted drinking water, kidnapped children, politicians who have no regard for humanity, articles on how to deal with self absorbed people, well-meaning self-help gurus who appear to have all the answers for a spiritual life, superfoods that will heal everything from weak fingernails to cancer.....I could continue because unfortunately, the list is endless. This constant bombardment of negative, fear provoking media reports must have an impact on my well-being. Regardless of what is 'printed' on social media, you can bet your last dime that someone will be angry about it or be offended by it, and feel the need to rant and rave and....I don't know....convince the unknown author to change their minds??? The radio, the television, the cell phone, the media, everyone is determined to tell us every detail about the latest disaster or potential disaster. Also let's not forget all the people who are so quick to share doom and gloom on their Facebook page or instagram accounts! If I see one more post that starts..."I know which of my friends will post this" I think I may explode (can you say....subtle bullying)!! Can you imagine how we would live if we followed all the well meaning people who 'share' this vital information with us? We would never eat anything (parasites), travel in a car (someone getting in the back seat to kill you), sit on the grass (ticks, lyme disease), drink water (stagnant water run-off), go on vacation (murders), have an opinion (someone will be offended) or stay home (mould)!!! Yikes, somebody get me a bubble!
Now let me be clear, I really do take all of these things VERY seriously, our world is not perfect and we have to be responsible and take care to do our part to heal the earth, but allowing myself to be inundated with all this negativity, everyday, is doing nothing for my well-being or my mental health.
So, for the next month, I will no longer be listening to the news, I will be skimming my media and passing by anything that remotely looks negative, fear mongering or just unsettling. At the end of the month, I will see how my 'sanity' has been affected.
I started to notice this barrage of 'news' quite a while ago, but it was only when I started doing more research on anxiety that it hit me.....how can we be calm and peaceful when we are being subjected to such unhealthy thoughts/words/ideas on a daily basis?
I will let you know how this negative media break works out for me.
Second.....Humans have spent thousands and thousands of years evolving into the people we are today. We ate natural foods and we ate them when they were available and when we were able to acquire them (seasonally, not daily). Our digestive systems evolved to adapt to this pattern. We slept when the sun went down and we got up when the sun rose. We relied on each other because no one person could do it all. Our possessions were based mostly on need with a few 'special things' and we only had what we could grow, make, trade for or find. Fast forward to the present. We live on processed food (while inflammation is rampant), drive our vehicles while complaining about the transport of fossil fuels, expect that we should have whatever we want, whenever we want it (24 hr shopping, instant messaging, buried in debt), our relationships are becoming more and more virtual and less and less face to face. Judgement has become the most popular 'game' in town. Our bodies, minds and spirits have not had the time, let alone the ability, to evolve in order to adapt to the latest trends. Chronic stress has become an epidemic and it is showing up as inflammation, anxiety and physical pain. AGAIN, I repeat, each of these things has merit and needs attention, my point is that if everyone is forcing their positions and opinions on us it becomes oppressive and people shut down.....or they develop acute anxiety. And now, I have come full circle. I have come to believe that the source of anxiety is the overwhelm that occurs when we are taking in too much negative stimuli and have too little time to process it.
What if we all started leading by example? Instead of criticizing, we listen, instead of forcing our opinions on others, we try to understand a differing point of view. Demonstrate what it means to be kind. Smile when someone scowls, show compassion when you are presented with a differing opinion. Choose not to engage in negative conversations, find peace in your own life and in your world, show the people around you what it looks like to be content and peaceful.
Just so you know....I DO get the irony of this negative post and I can assure you it will be the last. But as a closing thought....the next time you want to share that picture of the starving polar bear, please take the time to research, you will find that it was taken by a National Geographic photographer and it is a very old bear, who is at the end of his/her life and was heading off to die....as bears will do. He is NOT starving. Yes, global warming is causing the polar icecaps to melt and yes, animals are being negatively affected, but sharing propaganda is not helping the bears and it is just one more negative news item that you are dangling in front of your friends.
As a person who has brought yoga into my life, I have learned that yoga is not about your ability to perform postures, but how we gain control of our body, mind and spirit....our life. How we become in tune with how we feel on all levels and act accordingly in our best interests.
If you would like to respond to me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I continue to have issues with technology and can't seem to get the comments section to work, clearly communicating via technology is not my strong point :)